Richard (Dick) Mueller
Richard Lawrence Mueller passed away at home surrounded by his loving family on April 14, 2022. He was born on March 10,1926, son of Martin Leopold Herman Mueller and Mabel Marie Galle. He was 96 years old at the time of his passing.
Richard, known as “Dick”, grew up in Council Bluffs, Iowa where his father was a Lutheran pastor. His grandfather had served as a “circuit rider” Lutheran pastor, ministering to far-flung farms through southern Minnesota and northern Iowa.
Dick had two sisters, Dorothy and Marilyn, and one older brother, Martin. They had a happy childhood despite growing up in the depression years, and Dick was always keeping his siblings and parents guessing what new mischievous adventures he might be up to!
Upon graduation from high school, he headed West to Montana and built forest trails and worked in fire lookouts. In 1946 Dick joined the Marine Corps, serving in the famous VMF 214 Black Sheep Squadron working off aircraft carriers.
In 1949, Dick met the love of his life, Laneta (Lennie) Wickham in Cleveland, Ohio. They married in 1950 and after Dick finished his degree in forestry at Iowa State College, the young couple headed further West. Dick worked for Long Bell Lumber Company through 1956 when he began his career with the US Forest Service. He was first stationed at Cascadia, Oregon, then at Ripplebrook, Oregon and finally in Parkdale, Oregon in 1965 where he was promoted to District Ranger of the Mt. Hood National Forest. He served as District Ranger for 24 years successfully fending off promotions that would have taken him from his beloved forests to the Regional offices in Portland. Among the many contributions to our Hood River forests, Dick oversaw the development of Mt. Hood Meadows ski resort and the permanent protections and improvements to Lost Lake and its campgrounds.
After Dick retired in 1986 from the Forest Service, he and Lennie embarked on a new adventure and opened a collectibles / antique shop in Parkdale called “Plain and Fancy”. Already well-known in the Parkdale community, the business deepened their connection to the Upper Hood River Valley. Dick was active in the Parkdale Lions Club for many years and was part of a team that developed the Parkdale Hutson Museum.
Finally, in 2003, after 18 successful years, they decided to close Plain and Fancy and retire for good.
Dick was a wonderful husband and father. He and Lennie were blessed with 63 years of marriage, and provided their seven children with a home rich in love, laughter, faith and appreciation of the great outdoors. The family enjoyed camping and backpacking, with many trips to Lost Lake and other beautiful areas in the Pacific Northwest.
Dick loved his Lord, and with Lennie raised their family with Christian values and continued the family heritage with two sons becoming Lutheran pastors. Dick was also very active in his church. He served in several leadership positions at Immanuel Lutheran church in Hood River, Oregon including President of the congregation and served as Stewardship chairperson up to the date of his heavenly homegoing.
He was also on the board for Child Beyond International, a children’s rescue mission in Guatemala.
Dick leaves a great legacy that future generations are eager to follow. His faith, humor, wisdom and kindness will be missed by all who knew him.
Dick is predeceased by his wife, Lennie, his brother Martin and sisters Marilyn and Dorothy, and his son, Richard. He is survived by his six children: Peggy (& Guy) Fisher, Martin (& Sally) Mueller, Peter (& Adele) Mueller, Mike (& Joann) Mueller, Jeff (& Lynda) Mueller, and Anna Mueller (& Alan Douglass), along with 10 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
Donations in Dick’s memory can be sent to Immanuel Lutheran Church and/or Child Beyond International at 305 Ninth Street, Hood River OR 97041.
A celebration of life service will be held 11:00 AM., Saturday, April 23, 2022 at Immanuel Lutheran Church (305 9th Street, Hood River, OR, 97031) with a graveside committal at Upper Valley Cemetery at 2:30 PM, Saturday, April 23, 2022.
Visit www.AndersonsTributeCenter.com to leave a note of condolence for the family.